18 year-old Kimberley Vlaminck initially told her father — and the press — that she asked for three stars to be tattooed to her face. Then she fell asleep and woke up with 56 stars. On her face. She tried to sue Rouslan Toumaniantz, the tattoo artist, to get money for the laser surgery required to remove the unwanted tats.
But Kimberly wasn’t telling the truth. She just didn’t want her dad to be mad at her.
Before I tell my little tale, let me say that I don’t understand the appeal of tattoos. I’m not knocking anyone for getting one, or even several. I just can’t imagine wanting one. Even if I could, I completely don’t get why anyone would get as many as this young woman, or, for a more extreme example, her tattoo artist. (His pic is on the Daily Mail web site if you want to see it. I’d post it here but it’s not for the faint of heart.) I mean, whatever gets you through the night and all that. It’s just not for me.
Now, back to me. My story isn’t nearly as dramatic as Kimberly’s. When I was about to graduate from the 8th grade, a friend of mine and I thought that we should pierce our ears. Not both of them, just one. (It was the 80’s.) Part of the motivation was that we were going to be leaving private school to attend the High School of Performing Arts. And, you know, earrings were call. (Like I said — it was the 80’s.) But we didn’t want to tell our parents. So we got two enormous gold piercing studs, a lot of ice and rubbing alcohol, and proceded to do the deed ourselves. In his bathroom, while his parents were out to dinner. His little sister helped. After about an hour of icing down my ear, I put the earring in and pushed. And pushed. And pushed. It didn’t hurt exactly, but I could feel the metal pushing its way through the meat of my earlobe, something that even now makes me cringe. At the time I didn’t know what to think, but “thinking” would have probably stopped me long before the gold stud was halfway inside my flesh. After some pushing and prodding, the thing finally poked through to the other side and voila. Piereced ear.
When my mother came to pick me up that night, I was wearing a hood. I never wore a hood. My mother said mentioned this on the ride home — “Are you cold?” “Yeah, mom. A little. Cold. Right.” — but didn’t make a big deal out of it. The next morning was the real problem. When she told me to come out for breakfast, I told her I would get something at school. Which I had never before said in my entire life. She knocked on the door of my room, where I had been hiding all morning. I told her to come in. I had the hood on. This time she couldn’t let it go. She asked what was up, so I told her. Then I showed up. She laughed, long and loud, and then hit her head against the wall.
She wasn’t really that mad, at least I don’t think she was. She didn’t try to make me take it out, but she did give me a lecture on safety and how what I did was really stupid since I could have gotten an infection. Being 14 and invulnerable, I didn’t care.
My point? If you’re going to do something visible to your body, like an earring or a tattoo — especially if you plan on tattooing 56 stars to your face — don’t try to hide it from your parents. Eventually they’ll find out.
Image/Source: Daily Mail